Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Groove's Faves: "Jack of Hearts!" by Mantlo, Giffen, and Nebres

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! One of the most unique and visually stunning characters to come out of the Groovy Age was Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen's Jack of Hearts. Created as a foil for the White Tiger in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #22, Jack quickly became a cult fave, with  color appearances in mags like Incredible Hulk and Iron Man fanning the flames of fandom. Marvel decided to test Jack's popularity with Marvel Premiere #44 (July 1978) with Mantlo and Giffen teaming with finisher Rudy Nebres. Teen Groove dug that issue a lot...
Cover by Mike Zeck and Rudy Nebres

...but Jack never did get his own series. He did get a mini-series in 1984, but that was as close as it got.


  1. Pre-teen me dug this as well, and dug the hell out of Marvel Premiere. That stretch in the 40s was particularly cool: this issue, the Seeker 3000 and Paladin stories before it, and then the famous Man-Wolf and Ant Man stories right after.

  2. I think Bob Dylan's song about the Jack of Hearts ("Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts" from his 1975 album "Blood on the Tracks") runs longer than Marvel's Jack of Hearts' entire career.

  3. Very cool book. I didn't read it at the time, it seemed where I was living, mostly DC was available and not much Marvel other than Spidey. Nice pick, page 27 is stunning!!!

  4. Loved Marvel's try-out comics: Spotlight & Premiere. Jack of Hearts was always a favorite alongside Wood-God. I guess I have a soft spot for third tier heroes !

  5. Jack had a tragic arc during Geoff Johns' stint as Avengers scripter. I think the reason for the hero's third-tier status was the costume, frankly. Who'd want to draw that in almost every panel?

    I often wondered if the villain was inspired by the Eiger Sanction?

  6. I really like the uniform, but I don't understand the arrow pointing up to his crotch...

    Do you still have the cap pistol and the playsuit?


  8. I always love Jack, wish they would bring him back. :)



Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!